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  • Amazon Is Coming After eBay And PayPal, Make No Mistake [View article]
    Ebooks, you underestimate the significant problem of transaction abandonment for a typical SMB. It's a huge issue, the rate of abandonment is something like 60-70% once items are added to the cart. In many cases, this is because consumers don't want to hand over payment credentials to unknown merchants, or can't be bothered entering all their payment credentials at checkout (particularly on mobile). Allowing a mechanism to log in with a trusted credential to facilitate, rather than lose a sale, is just smart business. In the process, Amazon gets the data by stealth....it's not like an outright, explicit handover of data by the merchant.
    Think of this as similar mechanics to the way Facebook Connect works for merchants.
    Aug 21 01:36 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Amazon Is Coming After eBay And PayPal, Make No Mistake [View article]
    Amazon may not be making significant money from these services, but in the process of entering markets, they end up commoditizing the market and extracting excess margin and profit. In my view, Amazon is looking at how much relevance they can add to the consumer and how cheaply they can do it. In doing so, any excess profits that exist in those markets get sucked up.
    Aug 21 01:31 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Amazon Is Coming After eBay And PayPal, Make No Mistake [View article]
    The problem is that PayPal is a siloed money management service, with little else to compel a user to add a PayPal account or identity. Don't get me wrong, they've done a great job as the only player in town to date....but that's about to change as a greater number of players with more relevance to the consumer enter this space.
    Aug 21 01:28 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Amazon Is Coming After eBay And PayPal, Make No Mistake [View article]
    InvestingInvestor,
    True, though my view is that this is just the start of Amazon's forays into financial services...not necessarily the endpoint. They are logically starting with where their assets can be best leveraged. I expect them to extend into other banking related services over time.. Paypal is just the first direct target, not necessarily the only or the last. Eventually, Amazon will become a hub to manage financial services also.
    Aug 21 01:25 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • My Dividend Portfolio: Cisco Update [View article]
    There was some evidence this quarter of stabilization in routing, switching declines in europe (low cost vendors haven't made too many inroads in north america). The priority needs to be a focus on stemming the bleeding in Asia, may mean a little more bleeding in the near term, but if they can hold steady for a 18-24mth, things should begin to look more promising. I'm happy holding for the long term, a turn around isn;t likely in next 12mths if you ask me.
    Aug 15 08:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Case For High Yield In A Dividend Portfolio [View article]
    Thanks for the comment dealerdeb. I haven't really chased very high yield that I don't view as sustainable. I'm more partial to high yield that I view as reasonably secure, with the potential for steady dividend increases along the way.
    Aug 15 02:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Case For High Yield In A Dividend Portfolio [View article]
    You raise some good points. Certainly the bulk of my dividend portfolio tends to be from moderate yield to high yielding stocks. Low yield can have an element of speculation to it as far as needing to chase capital gains, which depending on Mr Markets mood may be easier or more difficult in attaining.
    Aug 15 02:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Case For High Yield In A Dividend Portfolio [View article]
    Interesting comment. I think it's likely due to the prospect of strong total returns. Let me use Visa as an example (it's a stock that I have in my portfolio). Visa pays a fairly minimal dividend yield at present (<1%). However, the dividend growth is strong, and total return even better. Visa is reinvesting a lot in the core business right now....eventually though, reinvestment requirements will fall away as the company enters a maturity phase. At that point there will be excess cash that it will likely distribute as dividends. Granted, dividend return till that point will likely be minimal, but the total returns/capital return you derive along the way could be significant. Of course, these returns aren't certain, but strong growth should see the stock rewarded, with the promise of a nice dividend payback over the medium term.

    In general, I don't tend to carry many low yielders, just because the current income return is so low, but the few I do carry are for the prospect of strong total returns and a nice medium term dividend payoff.
    Aug 15 11:28 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Visa And MasterCard Will Win In Mobile Due To HCE [View article]
    Thanks Mitch, appreciate the feedback.
    Aug 15 10:11 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Case For High Yield In A Dividend Portfolio [View article]
    rickevan, i think selling out of the money puts is a great way to play both stocks. I have been mulling a similar strategy for Coca Cola and potentially the S&P 500 also. Getting AT&T or VZ at discount to current market price isn't a bad outcome, and if not, you just keep the premiums.
    Aug 15 10:10 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Case For High Yield In A Dividend Portfolio [View article]
    Thanks Robert, glad you enjoyed it.
    Aug 15 10:09 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Visa And MasterCard Will Win In Mobile Due To HCE [View article]
    Monetise has some very good traction. They have a few hiccups as they work through a transition to a subscription model, but their strategy to act as the back end plumbing to mobile enable the banks for payments means they can just focus on laying the infrastructure, less on delivering and making money on a payments service, which is a very tough space.

    I have some reservations on PayPal. Current growth is fairly strong, but Visa/MC and Amazon are encroaching on their online niche. Paypal should be concerned about Amazon. With such a large embedded user base, and many merchant relationships, merchants will be keen to support Amazon payments on their site. Bigger questions around their instore strategy. Personally, I think this will bomb. What problem are they solving? Why do I need to pay with a PayPal solution in store when I have other existing solutions that work perfectly well.

    I know they are experimenting with a loyalty solution to drive usage, but I'm not convinced they'll succeed instore. The V/MA lock in of acquirers, processors all of whom benefit from V/MA transactions will not easily allow Paypal to push forward in store.

    My further thoughts on Paypal here http://seekingalpha.co...
    Aug 14 02:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Visa And MasterCard Will Win In Mobile Due To HCE [View article]
    nikkor, technically no, although i think apple's payment strategy is a little more complicated than that.
    Will Apple support NFC? Likely yes if you ask me. It makes a lot of sense, given Apple's moves into the connected health devices space via healthkit offering.
    Will Apple go the embedded SE route or HCE? In my view, the HCE implementation still introduces a number of variables that mitigates against Apple going down this path... latency of transaction speed, security etc. I think Apple's blueprint suggests they want to control the whole experience, HCE is likely still too early and not baked enough for Apple to leverage.

    The bigger question: How will Apple look to monetize payments? In my view, it makes sense for them to partner with someone in the space. Apple won't try to displace the networks out of the gate. They want to sell more devices, not rethink payment networks.

    I don't seem them pushing a service where they run their own closed loop transactions and displace Visa and MA. They will focus on offering an end to end experience for Passbook, leveraging existing payment rails. That's good for V and MA in my view.
    Aug 14 02:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Visa And MasterCard Will Win In Mobile Due To HCE [View article]
    Ed, great question. In the Japanese market, and even in Canada (ie Rogers), the telco's are becoming banks and getting more into financial services. In my view, the US telco's are likely a little gun shy about entering a completely new market with new economics, and more relevantly, a completely new regulatory regime.

    In my view, the pure play payment processors like TSYS will have to show additional value add to avoid being completely commoditized. If you aren't at scale, and least cost, you need to deliver your customers some additional value. They are making the right set of moves toward tokenization enablement in my view.
    Aug 14 02:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Growth Portfolio: Q2 2014 [View article]
    Hardog, I tend to think of myself as primarily a dividend guy (though some folks disagree with me based on the most recent activity in my dividend portfolio!), so the growth portfolio is a pretty small portion of my overall portfolio (I'd estimate no more than 10%).

    Nothing wrong with sticking with solid dividend performers who raise year in year out.
    Jul 31 07:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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